WATCH: How Sanlam’s commitment to systemic development is making positive impact

Published Sep 5, 2022


Balancing the needs of people, planet and profit is a tricky endeavour globally - and in South Africa all the more so, where job creation, quality education and resource stewardship are all high priority items on the national agenda.

Triple agenda of education, job creation and resource stewardship

As one of Africa’s most established financial services groups, Sanlam is committed to making a positive impact across the spectrum of transformation and development needs - with a multitude of social investment, enterprise development and sustainability focused initiatives in place to accomplish this.

#SAINC went to Dobsonville, Soweto, to see Sanlam’s systemic school intervention in action. Working together with educators in the classroom to build their teaching capacity, and through direct engagement with learners and the provision of tablets and data, the programme has impacted more than 60 000 learners to date. With a significant improvement in matric results, this cohort of learners is now ready to step into a brighter future.

Next up, the team visited the Western Cape’s Berg River catchment area to explore the water conservation initiatives being implemented in partnership with the WWF and to see first-hand the remarkable impact that alien invasive clearing has had on the city’s water supply.

From there it was back to Jozi to meet one of the firecracker entrepreneurs who, with grit and determination - and some help from Sanlam’s ESD incubator - has grown her panel beating business into a significant industry player.

Across the board, purposeful engagement from a committed corporate citizen is delivering positive progress and changing lives at scale.


Thami Nkosi is an inspiring young man. Having graduated from high school at the age of 17, he is now a computer science student at the University of Johannesburg - and the apple of his father’s eye. Nkosi attended PJ Simelane Secondary School in Dobsonville Soweto. He was a diligent student but had limited resources, and it was often challenging. But when Sanlam arrived at his school and presented the matric learners with tablets and data, his academic world came to life. With a device and unlimited internet access, he was able to supplement his learning - with significant impact on his matric results. Now he is an inspiration to his brother and other friends following in his footsteps.

Justin Smith is the Head of Business Development at WWF. He is a passionate advocate of sustainability, with extensive experience in working with the business sector to develop solutions to environmental challenges. WWF has had a long-standing relationship with Sanlam when it comes to water stewardship, primarily in the area of marine conservation. More recently, it has become deeply involved in the freshwater space, where population growth, poverty, development, climate change and alien invasive species are wreaking havoc on our water supply and our ability to manage fire risks.

Thembi Sithole embodies the phrase “dynamite comes in small packages”. Originating from rural KZN, Sithole made her way to Johannesburg after completing her schooling and found herself a job at a car wash in Randburg. Being an ambitious and hard-working young woman, she worked her way up to becoming a spray painter, then office administrator, and finally a business manager.

It was then that she realised she had reached her ceiling in other people’s employment, and she set out to open her own panel shop. Sanlam recognised her obvious entrepreneurial drive and incubated her business, providing the coaching and mentoring she needed to triple her revenue in a single year. Sanlam was also there with the funding she needed to expand into new premises. Today, G&T Autobody is an accredited supplier to the insurance industry and Sithole is a woman making some serious waves in panel beating.

Watch more SAINC Sanlam stories here.